The central Mexican highlands are characterized by breathtaking mountains, religious devotion, markets filled with vibrant flowers and mouth-watering food, children playing soccer on neighborhood streets and a passion for family. The global metropolis of Mexico City sits in the Valley of Mexico at over 7,000 feet above sea level and is home to around 22 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the world. Mexico is a complex country with one of the highest levels of inequality in the world and a complicated relationship with its neighbor to the north, the United States.

The YAGM Mexico program is based in Mexico City; however, volunteers may find themselves serving in mountain towns, rural villages and colonial cities within the states of Puebla, Tlaxcala and Morelos. Mexico is a largely Roman Catholic country, and though the Lutheran church has a small presence, the YAGM Mexico program work sites are in largely secular schools and non-profits that do important work in the areas of the human rights, migration and refugee resettlement, community organizing, teaching English classes, ecological sustainability and environmental education, and cultural preservation. Volunteers are placed in homestays with local Mexican families where they will have the opportunity to become more deeply immersed in the language and the culture, as well as explore some of the complex issues facing Mexico in a more personal way.

Periodically, the YAGM Mexico group comes together for retreats involving community building, worship, reflection and exploration of important issues related to global systems, questions of justice and their role as people of faith. Mid-year, the YAGM Mexico cohort participates in a Border Immersion experience on the US-Mexico border, more closely examining the issue of migration through the lenses of politics, spirituality, ethics, and the environment.

Currently, ELCA young adults serve in communities within six hours of Mexico City. Specific site placement opportunities may include:

  • Community development projects in sustainable agriculture and ecological sanitation
  • Shelters for migrants passing through Mexico on their way to the United States
  • Working with a refugee resettlement agency in Mexico City
  • Teaching English at an ecologically focused elementary school
  • Community organizing projects related to land rights, women’s rights and indigenous rights
  • Working with adults with disabilities in a school setting

College degree or equivalent life experience required for service in Mexico.

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